by Joanna McGuigan, Pilates
As trainers, we often discuss the importance of varying your routine, not only to protect the body from injury due to overworking a particular area, but also to build balance across the different muscle groups.
One of the most effective ways to train, is to alternate your weight routine with strength and flexibility training programs, such as Pilates or GYROTONIC®.
Do exercises that sometimes utilize just the body itself as resistance provide enough weight to build muscle, develop and maintain bone density? Clients often ask us what the difference between weight training and exercise systems like Pilates and GYROTONIC® is, and if one type of exercise should replace weight training all together. Let’s consider each method individually:
Pilates is a widely recognized strength and flexibility program developed in the late 1800s. The program is designed to exercise the body both physically and mentally, through a series of exercises that work each muscle group in a highly systematic way. The work requires intense use of the core muscles, control of the breath, and concentration. Pilates apparatus uses variable-length (and gauge) springs to simultaneously lengthen and strengthen the muscles, as well as to improve joint flexibility and range of motion. By using springs and the weight of the body to create resistance, Pilates equipment provides gradual resistance as your muscles contract, which ensures the muscles are being worked effectively to prevent workout injuries. Compared to weight training, there is greater resistance at the muscle's strongest point of contraction and less resistance on the initiation and completion of the contraction so there is less stress on tendons and ligaments.
GYROTONIC® like Pilates can be performed on a mat, in a chair, or on various apparatus, including The Pulley Tower. In GYROTONIC® with the use of weights, cams and pulleys, circular movements are possible in limitless directions allowing clients to stimulate injured areas, while maintaining and expa